Best Bets This Week in Live Bay Area Music


There’s no cutting down this week’s list of shows worth your dollar. Just give in, go broke, and rejoice in an embarrassment of live music riches.

Or, better yet, hit up your friend who works at Twitter and have him or her pick up the bill with their newfound IPO allowance. In their honor, we’ll keep it under 140 characters to squeeze in all the good:

Minor Alps, The Independent, Monday

Remember Nada Surf? Ya know, that song “Popular”? The lead singer from that band teams with Juliana Hatfield to comprise this power duo.

Aan, The Knockout, Monday

Fans of genre deconstructionists like Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors will approve of this experimental Brooklyn rock group.

Crystal Antlers, Hemlock Tavern, Wednesday

L.A. Pitchfork darlings. Of their latest album Nothing is Real, Pitchfork sayeth: “Many of the moments here come off like the Pixies without the brevity.”

Cults, The Fillmore, Wednesday

Precocious bedroom-pop rockers are out to prove they’re more than just a one-album phenomenon. Early returns on 2013’s Static indicate they’re here to stay, and charm.

The Besnard Lakes, Brick & Mortar Music Hall, Thursday

Montreal-based husband-and-wife duo’s expansive rock compositions bend and grow with texture and ephemeral glow. Band is at its creative peak right now, but 2007’s The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse should be on any Most Underrated Albums list from that decade.

Graham Nash, Yoshis San Francisco, Thursday


Big Freedia, The Independent, Friday

Often misunderstood, Big Freedia’s contributions to American culture go well beyond twerking. Yes, that’s what you’ll get at a Big Freedia show, but check out this documentary explaining Big Freedia’s community leadership role in New Orleans to get a full grasp.

Cass McCombs, Great American Music Hall, Friday

What better way to get to know Cass McCombs, one of the finest singer-song-writer-guitarists going, by watching him explain his craft:

Toro Y Moi, Fox Theater, Friday

Easy classifications don’t apply to Toro y Moi. Chaz Bundick’s music that began in a bedroom is now filling concert halls the size of the Fox Theater and beyond. His ascent to the fringes of the mainstream is startling, given that his music defies virtually every pop music convention.

Steve Aoki, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Saturday

The child is very much alive inside EDM superstar Steve Aoki. I present to you the latest reminder that internationally acclaimed DJs just want to have fun:

Bill Callahan, The Chapel, Sunday

Smog frontman Bill Callahan goes by his given name these days, but his songs still consist of the devastatingly poignant and thoughtful lyrics for which Smog was celebrated.

CHVRCHES, Fox Theater, Sunday

A warning to elctropop junkies everywhere: approach CHVCHES with caution. You’ll get hooked in a heartbeat, and, well, your heart beat will change rapidly.

Follow @ChrisTrenchard for more words like these.

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